and finally to the Charles City road; thence by it to the crossing with the Quaker road, leading to the James River. Went down this to within 3 miles of the James River. Returned and pursued the Charles City road 2 miles beyond the intersection with the Quaker road to a point 10 miles from Richmond.
By this time it was 4 p.m. We had accumulated such a force of cavalry before us that, with the fatigue, lateness of the hour, and distance from our supports, I considered it prudent to return. The country through which I passed is evacuated most literally. The roads have no new wagon-tracks since the rains of last night, and until we crossed the road from James River few marks of the passage of cavalry.
Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN.
Numbers 5. Report of Colonel David McM. Gregg,
Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
CAMP AT BOTTOM'S BRIDGE, VA.
May 23, 1862.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that, agreeably to orders, this morning, with eight companies of the Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry, the Seventh Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Colonel Russell, the Twenty-third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Colonel Neill-the infantry all under command of Colonel Russell-I proceeded on the main road toward Richmond. After passing our outer pickets I proceeded cautiously, making a thorough examination of the country to the front and between the main road and railroad. I examined all the roads to the right and left. The roads leading away from the main road are unimportant, and do not connect any main roads. The country to the front is rolling, with frequent cultivated tracts. A half mile beyond our picket I came upon the enemy's pickets, which, after firing upon us, retired on the road. Following along the road a mile farther I met the enemy's pickets in greater force, the picket being composed of cavalry and infantry. When discovered the enemy's picket was upon the western side of a plain, under cover of timber. I sent through the woods companies of infantry to the right and left, drove away the picket, and put to flight the whole or the greater portion of a regiment of infantry and a force of 300 to 400 cavalry. The enemy moving away to my left through the woods, I did not deem it safe to follow, lest a movement should be made against my left and rear. One of the enemy was killed. From this point, 3 miles from the Chickahominy and 10 miles from Richmond, I returned to this camp.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. McM. GREGG,
Colonel Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
Lieutenant Colonel A. V. COLBURN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Potomac.